Thompson Intermediate starts school paper

Published 11:59 pm Sunday, September 28, 2008

Students at Thompson Intermediate School will soon have a new way of getting their news.

It’s called The Warrior Words.

In May, several students approached TIS Principal Dr. Ke Jones inquiring about starting a school newspaper.

With May being the end of the school year, Jones told the kids it was too late for 2006-07 year and to come back at the start of this school year.

The kids came back in August and Jones asked that they write a proposal, including every detail about how the paper plans to operate.

The kids stepped up to the challenge once again and Jones was floored with what they came up with.

“This is something they wanted to do themselves. These kids are very well driven and determined,” Jones said. “They are just awesome.”

Rachel Hill was one of those students who approached Jones, and Hill said a newspaper was something the school need.

“I thought our school didn’t have anything to tell us the news,” Hill said. “I wanted to be the one to tell the stories and help other people.”

Heather Kirk, TIS library media specialist, was also approached by the kids for help. If the paper was going to run smoothly, they needed a sponsor and Kirk was glad to accept.

“It showed me that they care more than just about themselves,” Kirk said.

The paper will concentrate on local school news and consist of news, sports and feature stories, as well as photos, columns and students and teachers of the month.

The eight-page newspaper is being produced before and after school with the kids volunteering their time.

“Sometimes you don’t have time to do all the work, but you fit it in,” Hill said.

Although Kirk said the students on the staff are some of the smartest kids in the school, the newspaper will also help them in their studies.

“I think this helps a lot because it helps them with their writing skills, communication skills and it keeps them connected,” Kirk said.

With 19 fifth-grade classes and 17 fourth-grade classes, a lot of kids have approached Kirk and Hill asking to join the newspaper, but the staff is currently limited to 11 spots.

The interest kids have shown is something that encourages Hill.

“I hope it’s something people won’t be making paper-airplanes out of and actually be into it,” Hill said. “I think this newspaper is going to rock.”

The kids on the staff have even impressed Jones enough to where she is considering closed-circuit televisions in each classroom so the school can broadcasts things like a student-run newscast.

“I see these kids taking this beyond the newspaper,” Jones said.

The first edition of The Warrior Words will debut Oct. 8, and it will cost $.25. Members of the first staff include Alex Burton, reporter; Richard Camp, reporter; Rachel Hill, reporter; Jordan Lenoir, reporter; Allison Singleterry, reporter; Luke Stanford, reporter; Abby Vann, reporter; Katlyn Wlodyga, reporter; Tyler Hussey, photographer; Reagan Johnson, photographer; and Jared Viator, photographer.

All proceeds from the paper will go to American Cancer Society at the end of the school year.

“That was the kids’ idea from the very beginning,” Kirk said.

And such compassion doesn’t surprise Jones.

“These kids are selfless, not selfish,” Jones said.